Detroit's Heartbreaking Bankruptcy, Told Through Stunning Photos of One Public Library


Signs of Detroit's bankruptcy are still hard to miss. The mass exodus of people has left the city with roughly 700,000 residents, nearly half of what it was a half century ago; unemployment has doubled over the past ten years; fires plague the streets; and there are abandoned houses with for sale signs and no residents. But most surprising of all, are the abandoned libraries, once housing priceless collections of books, that now look decapitated and ransacked.

Photographer Brandon Davis explored what was once known as the Mark Twain Branch of the Detroit Public Libraries before it was demolished. He took these stunning photographs.

1. Mark Twain Branch, circa 1940

2. The Main Hall in 1940

3. The Main Hall, September 2011

4. Front Desk, 2011

5. Desks, Shelves, Books Stacked Into One Corner

6. A View From the Inside, 2011

7. The View From the Outside, 2011